Sunday, December 19, 2004

Christmas is here again!

It happens every year at this time that people simply go nuts. What is it with the Christmas season?
Suddenly, people force themselves--or are they dragged along with the season?--to spend so much money that they do not have! For eleven months of the year most of these people use their money almost wisely. Then comes Christmas...! For the next twelve months people must pay off the debts they incurred over Christmas. All in the name of creating happy memories?! What is it with us as human beings? Especially here in the west? After so many years and even decades it has been proven that money and things cannot--and indeed will not--bring us happiness. It is the nature of money that it promises joy and happiness, but it will not deliver! You see, once it delivers the goods, then there is some saturation point at which one can say "I have reached happiness!" When this happens then we can indeed say that we no longer need more money than we already have! As you can get from this yourself, money will not stand for this! As long as it can promise more, the more it will create in us a desire of more of it. How is it that in so many cultures where--according to our standards--the people are poor, that they are happy, and in fact, content?
This is also the season when many anti-Christians become completely insecure. Groups like the ACLU in the USA must spoil it for everybody else. They need everybody else to be just as miserable as themselves. They cannot enjoy Christmas, so nobody can. As a result they run to their mommies and daddies (the liberal judges in the US) to get everybody else to stop having so much fun. This they do under the guise of "separation of church and state" as if that is what the American constitution promises them. As if the state can tell Christians where they may or may not celebrate Christmas or live out their Christianity! The state never tells atheists where they may celebrate their heathenistic, self-centred religion. Why should it be expected from the state to do so for Christians? You see, from the early Christian years, the state has been trying to get rid of Christianity. Since the state has not been able to do it through force, now the atheists and others are trying to do so by circumventing democracy via liberal godless judges in the courts! Every Christmas time these people cry "foul" when nativity scenes go up everywhere. Isn't it amazing how a scene with a completely innocent child can make people squirm like that? They want "happy holidays" when it should be "Merry Christmas!" These holiday will be just as empty as other holidays if Christ is removed from it.
Christmas is also the time when many Christians forget what Christmas is about. Sure, they say they do not forget, but their actions betray them. It is almost magic. One day their houses look quite normal; yet, suddenly the next day these once modest houses are transformed into Christmas fairy lands with lights, tinsel, angels and Santa Clauses everywhere. Again, under the guise of creating joyful memories. When you ask them where Jesus is in all this, they point to a tiny nativity scene that is complete overwhelmed with everything Santa around it. Of course, many of these Santas have a little button that children love switching on so that Santa could sing them a Christmas carol! Where is Jesus in all this?! Don't tell me that you believe that Jesus is the reason for the season when all I can see in your house is Christmas without the reason for the season, and tens of Santas and hindreds of other modern Christmas trinkets!
D. A. Carson writes in his book A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priotities from Paul and his prayers, (Baker Books, 1992, p109):
If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior."
Adding to this, if God had perceived that our greatest need was to get gifts, coloured lights, candles, tinsel and Christmas trees, He would have sent us Santa Claus. Yet, He did not! Santa does NOT exist, yet year after year we would willingly decorate our houses to entertain our children with this fictitious character. A character that cannot fulfill our greatest need. On the other hand, almost never do we decorate our houses with anything that would betray our allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Santa gets a whole month every year of our external show of allegiance to him, but Christ has to settle for an internal allegiance that, God forbid, anyone should discover we are serious about!
If you are serious about Christ, then show it this Christmas season!!
Just thinking...

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